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Learning from the Best jQuery Plugins


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This talk is geared towards users of jQuery plugins who are looking to pick the best plugins and plugin authors who would like a holistic review of existing jQuery plugins and what things to consider when making your own plugins. Marketing tactics and approaches to spreading the word about your plugin will also be discussed.

Published in: Technology

Learning from the Best jQuery Plugins

  1. Learning from the Best jQuery Plugins by Marc Grabanski
  2. Created jQuery UI Datepicker and watch it grow like a weed
  3. Made me very interested in examining plugins projects
  4. TONS of jQuery Plugins
  5. Looked at 500+ plugins and selected 30+ best
  6. Picked plugins based on what I use or what was recommended
  7. My BEST plugins list jQuery Plugins Toolbox
  8. What lessons can learn by examining plugin projects?
  10. Everything one click away
  11. Focused on Community
  12. “it started out as a little snippet of code that almost every web developer, at one point or another, has written..” Ben Alman
  13. Read Ben’s Story original-recipe/
  15. Themes
  16. very customizable, 36 options
  17. “I would make a selection based on how well it's appearance fit the project at hand.” Jack Moore
  18. “..added it to the jQuery plugin repository and make a post about it on Bloggers picked it up from there”
  20. Simple API, great functionality, looks good
  22. “jQuery itself lacked such functionality. cookie handling is such a basic requirement” Klaus Hartl
  24. “at this stage in its lifecycle it's less about adding features and more about adding demos.” Mike Alsup
  25. tons of demos commitment to community
  26. date_range_picker_using_jquery_ui_16_and_jquery_ui_css_framework/
  27. mixes date picker with english
  29. “I built Flip after discovering that you can create triangles/polygons by changing border properties of an element” Luca Manno
  30. “people started downloading it and ask me for new features/bug fixing”
  32. “early 2008 the form plugin initially evolved as a collaborative effort [through the mailing list].” Mike Alsup
  33. “The most notable feature addition I made was the ability to support file uploads.”
  34. “I really don't make an effort to spread the word about the Form Plugin, it seems to thrive on its own.”
  36. answers our burning questions of browser support right away
  37. diverse demos shows versatility
  38. “the existing open source Javascript chart solutions were somewhat limited. We specifically missed some interactive features for a client” Ole
  39. “It is complicated. Really, you need to weigh the usefulness of new features against the complexity they add.”
  42. “I built this plugin just to scratch an itch. I needed a masked input for a project I was working on and I wasn't happy with the current offerings” Josh
  43. “The only place I've ever really talked about it was on the jQuery mailing list”
  44. “Several people have submitted patches and bug reports. When I see something that I feel like I might use, then I'll implement it or roll a patch in.”
  46. DEMOS!
  48. DEMOS!
  49. “I originally built Jcrop because I had searched for competing image cropping plugins for jQuery and the offerings were marginal.” Kelly Hallman
  50. “I sent out a message to the jQuery mailing list and sent messages inviting several high-profile web development blogs.”
  53. DEMOS!
  54.  “as a Mac user I was familiar with Growl and decided that would serve as a good basis for what we were trying to do.” Stan Lemon
  56. Deep API and supporting documentation
  57. DEMOS!
  58. “I started the idea when I needed an easy way to represent database information in my project.” Tony
  59. “I really try to extract the essence from the user requests.”
  62. deep documentation and demos
  63. “I decided to create a tree view after spending countless hours in searching for a tree that met all the requirements for a web-based CMS I was creating” Ivan
  66. “I build it for my personal need. I needed an simple editor which was not a bloated WYSIWYG editor.” Jay Salvat
  70. “I was really tired of seeing the same lightbox modal windows” “I wanted a gallery that could exist inline with the content” Christoph Schüßler
  71. “I posted a link on dzone and on on digg.”
  72. “I added a dedicated site and an account at uservoice ... there are also many requests which I'm not going to follow, as they deviated too much from the original purpose of the plugin.”
  74. Partnered with a designer to “create stunning demo & documentation website”
  75. “I loved this effect on Mac apps” “I don't like Flash” “[I wanted to] do something cool and share it with people.. give back” Jack
  76. “submitted the plugin to the jQuery website plugin repository, and drop a message on the jQuery group.”
  78. “After reading Karl's article I realized that was a pretty useful thing that I needed myself” Ariel Flesler
  79. “I didn't do much really, I posted on jquery-en about it, and kept doing that for major releases.”
  80. “I tried filtering through the requests and rejecting those features that seemed out of scope.”
  84. “Principally for fun and exploration purpose.” “[there is a] universally accepted form and behavior [of calendars] while there is no such thing for a time picker.” Maxime Haineault
  85. “I posted a link on reddit and woke up the next morning to see that my submission had taken off quite well, enough to crash my VPS and down my site overnight.”
  86. “.. when other programmers send me patches, I always commit them as soon as I can.”
  87. “The most enriching part was probably learning how to deal with many ‘willing’ contributors. I learned that often hell is paved with good intentions, but I also learned how to manage hell.”
  90. ThemeRoller
  94. Demos
  95. “The validation plugin is the only one I've wrote from scratch, the others, like Tooltip, Accordion and Autocomplete, started with some code from someone else, usually where someone abandoned his plugin.” Jörn
  97. plugin theme SONG
  98. In Summary
  99. Authors Build Plugins to.. • Make Something Better • Fun / Exploration • Client Needs it
  100. It is tough to decide on features and manage users’ feedback and patches.
  101. The Best Plugins Have • Great demos • Documentation • Browser Support / Testing • Fun!
  102. Questions? Marc Grabanski: User interface and web application development. Examples: Twitter: Email: